Christian leaders hold prayer sit-in inside Kevin Andrews’ Doncaster office

Advocates for children suffering in immigration detention intend to stay until they have a timetabled commitment from the Government for all children and families to be released.

5 Christian leaders are right now holding a prayer sit-in inside current Minister for Social Services and former Minister for Immigration Kevin Andrew’s Melbourne electoral office calling on the Federal Government for the immediate release of all children and families from immigration detention centres.

The group, comprised of church leaders from Pentecostal, Church of Christ and Uniting Church backgrounds entered Kevin Andrew’s office at 11am and say they intend to remain there until they get a timetabled commitment for the release of all children and their families.

The group is making this request of Kevin because he is both a Cabinet member and a vocal public advocate for children’s welfare. In his recent address for National Child Protection Week, Kevin said that “child protection is a unifying issue in a place where we are so often divided. It’s one of those things that should be bigger than the to-and-fro of partisan politics.”

Speaking of the governmental “duty to protect,” he stated, “At the end of the day, the best interests of the child must always be pre-eminent and paramount. There should never be ambiguity on this question.”

However Kevin Andrews has been silent regarding the harmful effects of the detention of asylum seeker children. Continue Reading

Juniper adds a new dimension to spiritual care

Juniper has long had a commitment to providing pastoral support to our residents, clients and staff expressed through Uniting Church Chaplains and arrangements with Uniting Church congregations.
In recent years Juniper has observed the huge increase in diversity in belief systems and spirituality within the Australian community and among their residents, clients and staff.

In light of these changes, Juniper has recently committed more resources to a new dimension of spiritual care by creating a new Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team to respond to the variety of pastoral and spiritual needs of its people.

The team has recently been appointed and comes together with skills, training and experience in chaplaincy, pastoral care and aged care and from different Christian denominational backgrounds.

They work across 17 of Juniper’s residential facilities in Perth and Northam providing one-on-one support for the different expressions of spirituality and spiritual journey amongst the residents and staff.
Continue Reading

Juniper salutes Senior Champion of the Year

A woman’s efforts to improve the lives of older Aboriginal people in the State’s far north have secured her WA’s premier seniors award.

Leading aged care and community service provider Juniper congratulated Ms Maureen Angus (62) who won the Juniper 2014 WA Seniors Champion Award on 8 November.

Maureen was elevated from a strong field of several category winners who in this year’s WA Seniors Awards were acknowledged for their service to older people.

From personal experience receiving at-home care Ms Angus knew others in her town could benefit from help, so she established a local community care service at Ardyaloon, a community of about 300 people located 2,446km from Perth on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula.Continue Reading

Uniting Church members become modern-day abolitionists

Uniting Church members are joining forces with Christians across Australia to speak up against human trafficking and slavery on Abolitionist Sunday 23 November.

UnitingWorld is joining forces with World Vision for Abolitionist Sunday, to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking and slavery and equip  Christians to speak up on the issue. World Vision  Australia’s chief executive, Tim Costello, says that Christians are often unaware of the human suffering that may be behind the products and services they buy.

“Human trafficking is woven into the lives we lead – whether we know it or not,” said Tim.

“Our own actions may even contribute to this demand because of the goods we consume.” Continue Reading

Corporates clean up at Juniper Rowethorpe

Juniper’s Corporate Volunteers program has enlisted recruits from Bankwest to help give our gardens a welcome spring clean.

A strong team of staff from the company descended on Juniper Rowethorpe in Bentley recently to weed, plant and clean up around the site, much to the residents’ delight.

Juniper’s Volunteer Program Coordinator, Verity Quill, oversees a 500-strong volunteer workforce who help deliver services to thousands of older people throughout Perth and in regional WA.

“Our volunteers undertake many different activities, from office work to home visiting and companionship, driving, gardening, and therapy and activity assistance,” she said.

“Juniper’s volunteers give an invaluable boost to the care we provide to more than 4,000 older Western Australians and without their help many of our services would not be possible.”Continue Reading

Uniting Church in WA divests from fossil fuels

The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Western Australia has decided to divest from companies involved in mining, exporting, or energy generation from fossil fuels. Instead, the Church will seek to invest in companies which reduce the impact on the environment through power generation from renewable sources.

The Church’s investment policy has always been guided by ethical principles. Since its inception in 1977, the Uniting Church has expressed its concerns for the environment. Over time, this call has only become more urgent, with the Church making many statements on the need to act on climate change. The Church recognises that divestment from fossil fuels is important in transitioning to a renewable energy future. The Church is committed to promoting renewable energy as a priority in responding to the challenge of climate change.

The Uniting Church in Australia, national Assembly, as well as the Uniting Church in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, have also recently committed to divesting from companies involved in the extraction of fossil fuels.Continue Reading

Support for medicinal cannibis

The Uniting Church, Synod of Western Australia yesterday agreed to support the changing of Western Australian law so that doctors can prescribe medicinal cannabis to be administered under supervision.

The proposal was brought by the Synod of Western Australia’s Social Justice Board and asks that the Western Australian Parliament, in conjunction with the National Drug Research Institute, explore options for the appropriate availability of medical cannabis.

Uniting Church in Australia, Western Australia, Acting General Secretary, Rosemary Hudson Miller noted that the success of the use of medicinal cannabis was evidence-based.

“More than 20 American states, as well as many countries, including Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and Switzerland, allow the medical use of cannabis,” said Rosemary.Continue Reading

Pilgrimage to Living Waters

On Friday 15 August, nine intrepid ‘pilgrims’ set out from the Dongara Uniting Church to follow a trail around the Irwin River and estuary. The weather was glorious and the setting magnificent. Our planned route included trekking across the bar, but this was adjusted as the river mouth was open. Having the Shire bus to help transport those not able to walk the full distance meant the whole group could instead move together from the lookout on Church Street to the boardwalk in Ocean Drive. We were delighted to have Jess Rowe and her daughter Sue with us and our friend Viv, who had walked with us last year, as well as several first-time pilgrims.

‘Water For Life’ was the theme of the event this year, celebrating the wonderful and amazing qualities of the gift of water for this water-dependent planet. A pilgrimage booklet was available for every person, with text extracted from the book Downstream From Eden by David L Knight. This booklet also contained portions of some of the psalms and wisdom writings from the Bible. Further reflections came from a book of modern Psalms written by a New Zealand woman. At each of seven ‘stations’ along the way the group stopped and shared in readings from the pilgrimage booklet which opened insights into the complex nature of water. Here we expanded our understanding of how amazing this substance is, how chameleon-like it can be, changing in appearance and quality according to characteristics of surrounding air and earth.Continue Reading

Welcome Muralee

The Uniting Church in WA is delighted to announce that Muralee Nair has joined as the new Insurance and Risk Manager. Muralee has a wealth of experience in insurance and risk management, his most  recent role being with the Silverchain Group in Perth from 2006 to 2014.

In his spare time, Muralee enjoys spending time with his family, attending yoga classes and playing soccer with his sons.

Feel free to contact Muralee on (08) 9260 9832 or at muralee.nair@wa.uca.org.au to discuss any insurance matters.

WA’s newest faith community

With joy, members of the recent Annual Meeting of the Synod and Presbytery recognised and welcomed the Eaton Millbridge Community Project (EMCP) as the  Uniting Church in WA’s newest faith  community.

Almost three years ago, a fresh expression of church, the EMCP was planted as a form of church for our changed culture and primarily, for the benefit of people who currently have no connection to the  church. The EMCP practices incarnational mission through acts of loving service, listening and  radical hospitality in the community of Eaton and Millbridge. Regular events held in local parks, such as  Easter egg hunts, Movies by Moonlight, Christmas events and most recently a Spring Fiesta draw in crowds from the local community. Continue Reading